When he was originally acquired, the Blackhawks were in the midst of making a series of moves to potentially push for the playoffs in the 2021-22 season. Unfortunately, it seems that those playoff hopes have mostly died off.
With the trade deadline approaching, Fleury’s future in Chicago has become an essential question. While having a goaltender like Fleury is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, he could be worth a lot to a contending team.
Having been traded from the Vegas Golden Knights behind his back, many thought Fleury would leave the Blackhawks once the season ended, if not sooner. However, Fleury made it clear that staying in Chicago is not completely off the table in a recent media availability session.
While this news is thrilling to Blackhawks fans, there does seem to be more to his answer than a simple, “yes.” Fleury wants to win. He loves Chicago and his team, but he wants to see more wins on the board. If Fleury decides to return to the Blackhawks, they will need to do more to support him in order to keep his interest in the Windy City.
Marc-Andre Fleury Could Return to Chicago Next Season
There are a lot of variables at hand when it comes to a new Fleury contract. While many of them are important, none are as pressing as the current cap situation with the Blackhawks. The new Seth Jones contract kicks in next season, which means that what little cap space the Hawks have left will be strapped. Not to mention, there are plenty of players in need of a new contract.
Another large question with Fleury’s potential return is who the new general manager will be. The Blackhawks are currently searching for Stan Bowman’s permanent replacement.
While Fleury has expressed interest in staying with the Blackhawks, whether or not management reciprocates the feeling will depend on when the new deal gets done. Even if Kyle Davidson wants to keep Fleury around, he may not be the general manager past this season.
It seems that keeping Fleury in Chicago will depend on what moves the Blackhawks make in the offseason. In a perfect world, they would trade Fleury to get assets and give him a chance to win another Stanley Cup, but then they would bring him back in free agency this offseason. Will that happen? No, probably not. A disillusioned Blackhawks fan can dream though.